The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
Steampunk is at the heart of this first novel from the man who penned the Ghost series of novels and audio scripts for BBC's Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes.
Sir Maurice Newbury is in the midst of a problem with one of his current cases, and is trying to make sense of what he would normally see as nothing more than simple hocus-pocus. A glowing policeman has been seen at night, with several people murdered in the London area. With so much change happening in the city during Victorian times, this has become the era of new technology, clockwork automatons and airships lead the way, but Newbury still has to think hard on the evidence he is presented with.
Newbury is a rational man who doesn't believe in séances or tarot readings but finds rational explanations for what evidence he has, which for him is becoming a bit of a headache. Newbury and his assistant Miss Hobbes have to investigate the policemen strangler killings and a series of assaults by what are known as Revenants, or zombified humans on the prowl. By order of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, they are sent to investigate a crash site in Finsbury Park.
What we first notice about Newbury is that he - like Sherlock Holmes - is a thorough man, meticulous in his detection as is Miss Hobbes a meticulous woman, whom he has high regard for, and more so than most women of that era would have got from their superiors. He tells Stokes, the representative of the Air Transportation Services that Miss Hobbes should be given all the considerations a man would have in investigating the incident.
The Lady Armitage airship is under investigation as there could be many reasons for why it had gone down. Chapman is sure that his automaton pilots had nothing to do with the incident, and can’t have caused the crash. Chapman is also certain that automatons are the way forward for the country, and that both rich and poor will benefit from having them around, but Newbury has his reservations. The most peculiar thing is that the pilot of the Lady Armitage has since gone missing and when Newbury suggests that the automaton could have gone on the run after somehow becoming sentient, it might sound absurd, but that is exactly what he is suggesting. Chapman explains using some of his own automaton units that it could not have committed such an act as it operates solely by receiving complex orders through voice commands or punch cards pushed into the back of the unit.
Many will think it sounds farfetched, but as there is a lot of fantasy in Mann’s previous works, readers will not be surprised to find the element of fantasy here as well as steampunk. However, as Newbury and Hobbes are practical people, there must be an explanation as to why the automaton disappeared. As well as the basic story of the missing automaton, Mann gives Newbury and Hobbes some personal problems.
Newbury tries to cope with his morphine addiction and carries on regardless, even hiding it from his companion and fellow sleuth while Hobbes has her sister, Amelia, who lives in an asylum. While they believe she is insane, Hobbes knows the truth is she can predict the future and has done in the past. She is also outraged that her parents even sent her there and even less happy that they refuse to visit her. It is up to Hobbes to make monthly visits, hoping that Amelia will make some kind of progress. This aside, Amelia does show her a sign of a dark near future after Newbury is attacked by revenants, nearly losing his life.
Mann leads readers through the main case that is the most pressing issue of the century involving queen and country, spending time being thrown off the scent, then pushing them back on the trail of the perpetrator. Newbury and Hobbes provoke the fear in others to act, even if they don’t want to. Mann knows how to write a gripping novel full of darkness and despair as we watch the protagonists push their way through the thick fog of Victorian London and their case.
This The Affinity Bridge book review was written by Sandra Scholes
All reviews for: A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation
The Affinity Bridge
A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation #1
Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London. Airships soar in the skies, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets. But beneath this shiny veneer o...
The Osiris Ritual
A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation #2
Death stalks London and the newspapers proclaim that a mummy's curse has been unleashed. Sir Maurice Newbury is drawn into a web of occult intrigue as he attempts to so...
The Executioner's Heart
A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation #4
Have you read The Affinity Bridge?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Affinity Bridge reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Perdido Street Station
The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rive...
The Anubis Gates
Brendan Doyle is a twentieth-century English professor who travels back to 1810 London to attend a lecture given by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is a...
The City and the City
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Besźel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector T...
The Difference Engine
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
The computer age has arrived a century ahead of time with Charles Babbage's perfection of his Analytical Engine. The Industrial Revolution, supercharged by the developm...
A colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination. A human cargo bound for servitude in exile... A pirate city hauled across the oceans... A hidden mi...
The Aeronaut's Windlass
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have rule...
It is a time of revolts and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and riot...
The Mensch with No Name
Edward M Erdelac
The Merkabah Rider continues his journey across the American Southwest of 1880 in search of the renegade teacher who destroyed his mystic Jewish order in the second volume ...
The Shadow Conspiracy
1816, the year without a summer. A group of geniuses descended on Geneva and, in an attempt to save the body and mind of Lord Byron, perform dreadful and forbidden experime...
The Weavers of Saramyr
An evil that comes from within the empire's centre, a sect of magicians close to the throne intent on killing any child born with magical powers. But now the empress ha...
The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats
Sir Richard Francis Burton's expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies that must remain secret if history is to proceed as it ...
A young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is ru...
The Good, the Bad and the Infernal
One day every hundred years, a town appears, its location and character different every time. It is home to the greatest miracle a man could imagine: a doorway to Heaven it...
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man
A clockwork man is abandoned in Trafalgar Square. A ghost displays a craving for diamonds. A lost aristocrat returns ten years after being lost at sea and instigates riots ...
Sea of Ghosts
When the last of the Gravediggers, an elite imperial infiltration unit, are disbanded and hunted down by the emperor they once served, munitions expert Colonel Thomas Grang...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Journey to the Black City
On an Earth that is very much like our own, the civilizations of ancient man have been crushed; the giant glaciers that cover the northern part of the globe continue, even now...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
After the sudden death of his best friend Neil, involving a 6-foot giant crow and quite some Tequila, Lou’s life takes an unexpected turn towards the impossible. As Lou discovers his unwelcome gift to see Neil’s ghost, he starts to question his sanity; but the real challenge is just coming up. Mallory, a self-proclaimed medium, offer...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...
A Conjuring of Light
The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empi...
Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...